I was there for 18 days in Philippines across Manila, Banaue, Batad, Puerto Princesa, Sabang and El Nido. During this time, I noticed many things about this beautiful archipelago country (7,107 islands) and I have noted them down to make an interesting read for you.
1) Most of the people of Philippines have an American accent when they speak English. No wonder their call center industry is doing real well.
2) Manila feels like most of the Indian cities with open garbage dumps, pot holes, smiling people, too much of honking, bad traffic and high decibel levels. I felt right at home.
3) Filipinos don’t understand the concept of vegetarianism as they love their pork and beef. True vegetarians have a tough time in Philippines. I just about managed.
4) Most of the country is Catholic or follow other forms of Christianity. Catholics are a majority.
5) If you tell a Filipino restaurant that you don’t eat meat, they think that you are Muslim.
6) The people of Philippines pronounce India as “Injaa”.
7) There are more women than men in the Philippines. Hence, don’t be surprised if you are a man and if many Filipinas come to you asking you if you are interested in marrying a girl from the Philippines.
8) McDonald’s is not the number one fast food chain in the Philippines. It is the local champion Jolibee.
9) In most of the world, it is the younger generation and the working population who frequent fast food joints. In Philippines, even elderly people and the entire family eat at fast food restaurants.
10) Jeepneys (elongated jeeps) are the most popular source of public transport across the Philippines.
11) Even for basic calculations, the people of Philippines use a calculator.
12) The people of Philippines are really chilled out and are always eager to help.
13) The MRTs and LRTs of Manila are so packed during rush hour that you will forced to kiss many people in the crowd.
14) Alcohol is very cheap in the Philippines and has to the cheapest in Asia by a long way.
15) Some beers are sold by the liter in the Philippines. They are called ‘litros’.
16) A lot of people in the Philippines and even those living in the countryside understand Spanish.
17) Except Manila, the rest of the country feels laidback, slow and retro style.
18) The Asian Institute of Management campus hardly feels like an university. It is such a small campus.
19) The Greenbelt area of Makati is so different from the rest of Manila and feels like a farce in a city that is meant to be different.
20) After the jeepney, the tri cycle (motored and un-motored in some places) is the most popular public transport.
21) The Manila immigration office does not allow you inside if you are not wearing trousers and shoes.
22) The bulk of the people in the Philippines are really poor.
23) The Philippine government does not like its citizens traveling to other countries and impose a high departure tax on them at the airport.
24) The Philippine government allows its tourists to extend their visa for up to 12 months.
25) Philippines looks like it wants to be like the United States of America. You will see that in its driving style, the brands in the country and their lifestyle.